Having been active in the Police service for over 20 years I am by no means new to stress testing equipment. I've served as a patrol officer, on a tactical team and as an instructor. I have also participated in a number of tests of tactical products for specialised team use.
On receiving my Klarus XT11 the first thing that struck me was the minute attention to detail in everything down to the packaging. Everything I needed was there, torch, batteries, charger, lanyard, pouch the whole lot. Just looking at the torch I could tell that it is of extremely high quality manufacturing. No rough edges, no machining burs, no jiggles or rattles. Nice, robust and clean. Controls of the torch were easy to find as they're naturally located when using it tactically. My first tactical vehicle stop for the night sold me and made me a Klarus user for life.
Stopping a suspected stolen vehicle with multiple occupants is never easy or simple. Using the strobe function I was able to literally incapacitate the occupants as my partner approached the vehicle and I provided cover. It was amazing - no matter how the exiting driver tried, he couldn't look directly in the direction of the strobe. It caused immediate disorientation and his hands went straight up to cover his eyes as our verbal commands rained down on him. His companions in the car were as dazzled and confused - and weren't able to look back at us either. What a superb tool! Just a simple flashlight deployed in a tactical manner was able to give me a life saving advantage in a volatile situation.
Later on the shift, we were first respondents to an accident scene involving multiple vehicles. I was able to use the XT11 in 50% brightness mode to cast light over the entire scene without dazzling the EMS personnel working to rescue a trapped driver. The shift and testing didn't stop there though. All through my shift I was using it like a boy with a new toy. The brightness of the beam was unbelievable and yet when searching a house that may have been broken into, there was no splash back of the light when shining it against full length windows - the beam simply traveled internally as if by magic.
Believe it or not, all of this testing in and around my shift wasn't even the jaw dropping part. Yes, I got it a little wet over the next few shifts and yes, I did indeed drop it a couple of times and it survived - I would expect nothing less with such precision engineering.
The jaw dropping part is that when I went on leave it lay with my kit bag for 4 weeks unused. Straight out of the bag I pressed the switch and there it was - bright and ready and thirsty for work - no noticeable battery drain!I was amazed that the battery hadn't drained noticeably after being unused for so long
Overall I can categorically say that I will never go on duty again without a Klarus torch by my side. As a Police Officer it's one of the best tactical tools I've encountered. Clearly designed by professionals for hard wearing use, it even slipped into a mount on my R5 without question. A figure 8 mount placed it squarely on a normal SAPS issue shotgun - and I can tell you that once you've mounted a XT11 on a shottie you will NEVER use a shotgun in the same way - it changes the tactical application completely and you'll wonder how you ever worked without one.
If you're one of those policemen who is after the best tactical tools available - you have to get an XT11.
Written By: Craig P.